Our Team

Jen & John

Founders (aka "the farmer" and "the farmer's wife")

Jen and John Bokaer-Smith met at college at U.C. Berkeley, in Urban Gardening class. It was clear from the beginning that agriculture was in our future! We returned to Jen's hometown of Ithaca after college, and we got married and started the farm. Many of our wedding gifts came from the farming supply company where we registered. (Perplexed guests wrote things like, "I hope you like this dirt squincher," on wedding cards...) After a few years of running the farm while managing the produce section at our local cooperative market, John quit the juggling act and has been farming full time since 1995. Jen works off the farm full-time as an educator but still helps out, especially with big-picture farm planning, tending the chickens, and growing flowers any time there's a family wedding. Nathaniel, who is now in college, spent his early summers in a backpack while we were hoeing weeds or washing produce. As a kid he helped out a few days a week—especially with harvesting berries, tending his chickens, and helping at the market stall. 

 

Chris

Orchard Manager

Chris, orchard manager, was born in Chicago and raised in the Driftless Region of rural Southwestern Wisconsin, he majored in Biology and Environmental Studies at Cornell College in Iowa. Chris grew up around apple orchards and started picking apples in high school; he fell in love with the trees and has found himself in an orchard almost every fall for the past 12 years, picking fruit in Wisconsin, New Hampshire and New York. After moving to Ithaca in 2010 Chris became interested in all the aspects of organic fruit cultivation and has since found himself immersed in the world of orchard husbandry. In addition to watching the fruit grow, he enjoys hiking, long-distance biking, cooking and is actively involved in the Ithaca Community Gardens.

 

 
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Raphael

Market Host and Field Crew

Raphael is an Ithaca native and farm worker here at West Haven, who can also regularly be found working the various markets in the area. Raphael first gained his passion for agriculture working for the Ithaca youth farm helping him realize his love of the plant world! Raphael studied plant science at Cornell, and is currently taking time off to explore the world of agriculture. Although still unsure of his desire to become a commercial farmer, Raphael hopes to one day fulfill his lifelong goal of growing his own food and caring for the earth.

 
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Aviv

Market Host

Aviv is currently half-way through a two year teaching grant from The Austrian Ministry of Education and Fulbright Austria. He has worked in many capacities at West Haven Farm since 2008. No matter where he is in the world, Aviv always looks forward to spending time at the Farmer's Market or in the field with the great West Haven crew. He has a bachelors degree in comparative literature and international development from Clark University. Ultimately he plans to go back to pursue a graduate degree once his body gets too tired to pick strawberries. 

 
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Sophie

Market Host and Field Crew

I am Ithaca native and I am currently an Environmental Studies major at Ithaca College. My main focus is sustainability and believe organic farming is an important piece in making food systems more equal and sustainable! Working in the Ithaca College garden my love for growing and tending to crops has pushed me to want to work on the farm and help out at markets. Outside of gardening and farm work, I love hiking with my dog, yoga and painting! 

 
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Drew

Market Host

Hello, everyone! My name is Drew and I'm a rising senior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am currently majoring in Biology and Society with minors in Law and Society and Minority, Third World, and Indigenous Studies and a theme of Science, Technology and Inequalities.

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Dara

Field Crew

In addition to working full time at West Haven, Dara raises goats!

 
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Jenny

Assistant Orchard Manager

Jenny has done a variety of work at West Haven over the years, staring with market helper while she was still in high school. In addition to working at West Haven, Jenny works with her folks at Hemlock Grove Farm, one of the first organic farms in the area.